There's a choice, then.

Dave makes the wrong one. He says something stupid, which of course he doesn't mean, but which is nonetheless horrible and terrifying and wrong and bad. Dave goes back to his car and he cries with a dry throat through the hours he should be studying. He kicks the dashboard, makes the car shake. When it gets dark, he drives home, feeling a whole mess of things that he can't say and can't write and isn't even really supposed to feel.

When he goes back to school, Kurt still glares at him, which is the coldest thing. Dave doesn't know what to do, and he reacts badly. He knows what Kurt feels like, now, in an embrace, and he remembers the boy's lips under his own. It brings a dull ache to Dave's head to think about it. He mocks Kurt, and tries to think of ways to apologize to him, always failing, always thinking of something stupid. He knows he doesn't deserve any sympathy, and there's no way he can face Kurt and admit it. He looks at his feet in the halls, and when Kurt appears in the halls Dave shoves him into lockers with more force than he should, because he feels so terrible about the whole thing and he just wants it to go away. It's no excuse.

Dave's life feels like a canker sore, and despite what the Trevor Project says, it doesn't get any better. Weeks pass and he hurts and hates Kurt, hates himself, hates his parents. He wants to die, but he doesn't want to go to the trouble of suicide, and so he miserably sits through his classes and drums his pencil on the side of his desk. History class becomes the only course he cares about, and he tries actively to fail several others, with the vague hope of getting kicked out of sports. He has nothing to do in the afternoon but homework, though, and so he maintains a C average in spite of himself. He reads books, sometimes, about the least romantic subjects he can think of: the genesis of the common market, the origin of purple dye (snails).

Dave sees Kurt dancing with Finn one day, through the door to the choir room. He makes a little limp-wrested gesture at Kurt that means something like, fag, since he knows Kurt knows what he is, and he doesn't care what Finn thinks. He hates Finn. It's a taunt, really, an immature sort of thing to do, but Dave sits through an uncomfortable meeting with Kurt and Mr. Hummel and his own father, talking about the bullying. Mr. Karofsky lets on nothing of what he must suspect. He glares coolly at Kurt and at his son, thinking, perhaps, that he is in a nest of devils, of sodomites and catamites, wondering how low his son has stooped, wondering what Dave hasn't told him. Dave's imagination goes wild, but after the conference his father tells him nothing. Dave is grounded.

He comes on a passage in his textbook one night that talks about Alexander the Great's male lover. Alexander stayed with his lover's corpse for two days after the man died. The greatest conqueror in history, by some measures. Dave reads the two-sentence blurb quietly to himself over and over again, and revels in it. He isn't allowed to go to the library, and his own computer has been taken. Here, though, in small black letters, there is proof that Dave exists. It isn't enough to lift his spirits, but it helps him to feel a little righteous pang of anger at the world, for a second. It's the first sharp emotion he's felt in a while, and it cuts like glass.

What Dave feels most days is a loneliness that everyone feels at some point, when they're young and weak and lost, and they're watching a world grow around them that they don't know how to fit into. Dave resigns himself to it. He tells himself that one day he will grow up and move out and then something good might happen to him. It doesn't work very well. He's still miserable, and he has nobody to talk to. There are no songs in his life.

When he eventually gets his computer back, he goes on online social forums and tells strangers who he is. He is out and proud, on the internet, in places. All it takes to get Dave to log off, though, is one person commenting that he's a faggot. Dave can't deal with that sort of stuff.

It's a cold morning near Christmas when Dave wakes up and hears his mother crying in the other room.

Spring is a series of gradually warming days, and Dave goes outside sometimes, to walk. His grades improve, mostly because Dave knows that otherwise he'll fail and flunk out of school and never be able to leave Lima, and there is no worse fate than that. He works harder at his schoolwork, trying to ignore the things going on in his head. It's never a very good idea to try and make oneself forget things, though. Later in his life Dave will wish he remembered.

He still loves Kurt. It isn't fair to Dave if you try to argue anything else. Of course he loves him. It's just that there are many ways a person can mess something like that up, and Dave has made so few choices that ever went the right way. There's so little to build upon, Dave knows, so little solid ground. It's his own fault. He's a coward and a hypocrite and a liar. He doesn't want to be. It's a matter of facing himself.

There are lots of other choices Dave still has got to make.

There's some sort of passage of time, then, a month or three or a week or a year or a thousand thousand years. Dave's life goes on.